Jamey Crimmins came up with the idea for Jam Kancer In The Kan while training for the New York City Marathon in 2014. Jamey was running as a member of “Fred’s Team,” a group of runners that fundraises for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center every year. Still mourning the loss of his father-in-law and a close friend to kancer, Jamey decided to run that year to honor their memory.
During the summer leading up to the marathon on November 2, 2014, Jamey discovered Kan Jam while playing it at a family reunion. It sparked an idea to use the game to host a community fundraising tournament. Jamey proposed the concept to his wife, Beth, and friends Keith and Suzanne Goldberg. Beth, whose father Bruce passed away from a rare form of bile duct kancer in 2012, and Suzanne, a two-time kancer survivor who lost her father Paquale to Gioblastoma kancer in 2008, knew first-hand how kancer can change life in an instant.
Together, the four friends organized the inaugural Jam Kancer In The Kan tournament on September 20, 2014 in the Goldberg’s backyard in Scotch Plains, NJ. Their first event raised $14,296, with 24 teams participating. Ever since, Jamey, Beth, Keith and Suzanne have continued to spearhead the efforts of the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Kancer Jam and hold the event every September — growing its reach and reputation both inside their community and beyond.